President Bush today signed H.R. 2272, the “America COMPETES Act” or the “America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act.” It’s a solid package of education, research and innovation incentives, consistent with the President’s American Competitiveness Agenda. Congratulations and thanks to all those who helped the legislation along.
This legislation supports our efforts to double funding for basic research in physical sciences. This legislation authorizes most of the education programs I called for in the initiative I laid out at the State of the Union. These programs include Math Now proposals to improve instruction in mathematics, and the advanced placement program my administration proposed, to increase the number of teachers and students in AP and international baccalaureate classes.
These are important steps forward, and so I’m going to sign the bill. I’m looking forward to it. Yet the bill Congress sent to my desk leaves some of the key priorities unfulfilled, and authorizes unnecessary and duplicative programs. I will continue to focus my budget requests on the key priorities in the bill I outlined, and will work with Congress to focus its spending on those programs that will be most effective.
I will continue to press Congress to approve the remaining measures of the American Competitiveness Initiative. These measures include the Adjunct Teacher Corps program to encourage math and science professionals to take time out of their lives and teach in our schools, and to inspire the youth to become more interested in math and science. I believe Congress ought to make the research and development tax credit a permanent part of the tax code, to encourage investment.
UPDATE (6 p.m.): The NAM issues a news release, “NAM Congratulates Bush and Congress for Bipartisan Excellence in Technology Bill.”
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